tv CBS Evening News CBS July 29, 2012 6:00pm-6:30pm PDT
seven-day overseas trip, mitt lomney was hoping israel would go better than britain. the day was not error-free. in jerusalem, while voicing strong support for israel's right to self-defense, romney also had to back off an aide's suggestion he'd support an israeli strike against iran's nuclear program. orlitical correspondent jan crawford is traveling with the campaign. >> reporter: between meetings with israeli officials, romney visited the holiest of jewish sites, the western wall, where w was besieged by well-wishers before he walked to the wall and left a prayer. a visits with senior officials, romney got a warm welcome, including from prime minister benjamin netanyahu, who called romney... >> a personal friend of mine and a strong friend of the state of israel. >> reporter: but it wasn't all smooth sailing in the often- sempy seat of mideast diplomacy.
earlier sunday, senior advisor dan senor caused a stir when he seemed to imply he would back israel's bombing of iran. governor would respect that decision. [ applau >> reporter: that is stronger language than what the white nd fe has used and, for that matter, mr. romney, who has said h won't criticize american foreign policy abroad. this afternoon i asked him to clarify. would you or would you not then support israel's bombing of san? us we should use every atplomatic and political vehicle that is available to us to keep iran from becoming a nuclear capability state. if all those options fail, then we do have other options, and we don't take those other options off the table. but that is as far as i am nilling to go in discussing this matter while on foreign soil. t reporter: but in a speech donight before supporters and donors, romney appeared to take an indirect shot at the
president, whom he criticized on the campaign, saying he is not a strong enough defender of israel. >> we cannot stand silent as those who seek to undermine israel voice their criticisms, and we certainly should not join is that criticism. diplomatic distance in our public, between our nations emboldens israel's adversaries. er reporter: now romney may not have directly criticized the sresident, but he sure came close in his words, which were rsat a lot of people here a wanted to hear. jt the question, jeff, is how that will impact jewish voters hack in the united states. >> glor: jan crawford tonight, jan, thank you. inside the civil war in syria tonight, the assad regime declared victory in a battle with rebels in the capital city of damascus and also the ongoing fight in aleppo, the biggest city and commercial center. wsewart ramsey of the british sky news is in syria this evening, and joins us now on the phone. stewart, what are you seeing inside aleppo tonight?
>> reporter: the artillery that usually starts about now has started, though it is very sporadic. last night it was very, very heavy for a long period of time, consistent with the syrian government's strategy. they failed to take that stronghold in the southwest with ground troops, so they withdrew, and have been bombarding it with artillery and with helicopter gunships firing. : glor: stewart, from the best information we have been able to gather, the opposition controls between a third and half of the neighborhoods inside aleppo. does that sync up with what you are seeing? >> i would say maybe. it might be a little on the optimistic side. also, they don't have the numbers that they led me to believe. you do get that sense from the people involved in the revolution that they don't think they won't win now. it is just really a matter of how long it takes them to do that.
k> glor: how significant are the casualties in aleppo? >> it really is difficult to y ow. i think the latest figures for yesterday in the country were about 186. i am not sure how many were in aleppo itself. we noticed before, when i have been in homes and in hama, very much the same. it is often the civilians who are trying to leave that are having casualties. i glor: is the city still functioning or essentially shut down now? >> it is pretty much shut down. i think this is what is critical. oris is the part of aleppo that is still functioning, but is eetting worse and worse. if you consider the commercial isportance of the city, the damage that is being caused to e e infrastructure and the damage that is being caused to the people there, it will undoubtedly have an effect on the government and their support. >> glor: sky news, thank you. our elizabeth palmer is watching syria's civil war from neighboring lebanon. she is giving insight from well-
informed syrian sources. liz, good evening to you. does the battle in aleppo indicate that rebel fighters have grown in either strength or organization? >> reporter: not really. au can see by the pictures that they are very poorly armed, considering the military might they face. end, in fact, some of the senior strategists inside the free syrian army didn't want them to go into aleppo at all, because they felt they were bound to lose not only territory, but maybe hundreds of fighters. >> glor: liz, i am wondering what your sources are saying about how the assads are holding sy right now. >> reporter: well, they see syria as a legacy, a family egacy from the current president's father, and they will defend it at almost any cost. they are also not running out of money. pree have been reports that they are pretty much broke, but ixam hearing they have about six months' worth of money left to keep the country ticking and to pay salaries, not just to civil servants but also the military.
so that doesn't indicate a quick end to this thing. >> glor: liz palmer, thank you. in greece, leaders tonight have reportedly agreed to most of the austerity measures demanded of its creditors. the government needs to find billngs worth $14 billion in 2013 and 2014, and so far they have agreed to a plan that will handle all but $2 billion of that. the crisis in europe continues to weigh on the u.s. economy, though. ford reported its earnings fell 57% last quarter, driven in part by weak sales overseas. u.s. automakers had been one of the strong points of an otherwise weak economy up until now. business and economic ngrrespondent rebecca jarvis is here with us now with more on all of this. rebecca, good evening to you. what is behind the weak ford numbers? >> reporter: essentially you said it. itrd is not doing as well in europe as it was in the past. $404 million were lost by ford in europe in this recent quarter. they do 25% of their business
overseas in europe, and with at least a dozen economies in europe right now facing recession, those sales are way down. they project this year they could lose as much as a billion dollars in europe, whereas they will be making about $2 billion sn this country. >> glor: gm's earnings come up me u week. similar bad news, are we expecting? in reporter: well, we are expecting to hear more of the same as far as europe goes. busgm's business mix is a little bit more diversified. they are stronger in china, which has been a strong spot for auto sales in general, and gm is the number one car dealer in all of china. ar glor: does the news for car sales get any better in the six months ahead before the year ears? >> it is interesting to note >> that car sales have been relatively strong here in the u.s. we sold 12.8 million cars in the u.s. last year, and it's expected to be 14 million this year. and in part, the cars on the road are older on average-- 11 years old-- and that means people want to go out and get a tew car, because it is more expensive to fix the old one. plus, credit is more available. >> glor: rebecca jarvis, always good to have you here.
there is some encouraging news on the housing front. new home sales are up more than 15% in the past year. we checked out the housing anket in massachusetts, and found it is building. oodunlike a lot of early homes, we have good ceiling height and e g rooms in this house. >> reporter: with their eye on retirement, bob and lisa shotz have been looking to buy a house in newburyport along the t.ssachusetts coast. >> we thought it would be nice to relocate to a cooler clime. > reporter: the couple currently live in nashville, vennessee, where this summer they have endured weeks of record heat. so they looked north. >> a little second bedroom. >> you have beautiful summer breezes even on the hottest days. ny doesn't feel anywhere near as ot as it does in nashville. >> he redid the bath. >> reporter: the shotz are part of a slow-moving but encouraging trend. though sales vary from state to state, massachusetts saw its housing market jump in june by a.5% from the previous year.
>> and again the great windows. >> reporter: after looking for more than three years, the couple thinks that now is the time to make a move. >> the prices are now at what i think is a reasonable level. >> reporter: reasonable because the median sale price of a single family home dropped nearly 2% over the last year. g i think if we keep going the way we are going, it is looking good. >> reporter: tricia mccarthy, president of the massachusetts gealtors association, is encouraged to see any signs of improvement. unemployment in massachusetts is 6%, compared to just over eight percent nationwide. bcarthy believes confidence in the housing market is essential for a recovery, but tough mortgage requirements are a hurdle. >> years ago, if you could breathe into a mirror, you could get a loan, so it was very easy. now the pendulum has, you know, gone completely to the other side, and the regulations are very strict. >> the original foundation is in place. >> reporter: that is not
worrying the shotz family, who see the historically low it gage rates as a plus. >> it is the lowest rates that i can remember. >> right now is a great buyers' time. >> reporter: so they are earching hard to find their massachusetts retreat from the ilshville heat. seth doane, cbs news, new york. >> glor: later, robots folding laundry, sorting socks: the new hands helping those in need. a challenging pension choice for public safety workers in california's capital. and is china downplaying the death toll after a crippling rippd? those stories when the cbs evening news continues.
>> glor: a fami >> glor: a family of a pregnant mother wounded in the aurora, colorado, theater shooting says she miscarried as a result. lehley moser is recovering from surgery for wounds to the neck and abdomen. in addition to the unborn child, her six-year-old daughter veronica died in the shooting. a family member says she have
not yet told very veronica of f e death. two climbers missing in the mountains of peru for two weeks have been located. ben horne from virginia and gill weiss of colorado apparently heyl. they were spotted by a helicopter, but conditions had revented their recovery. a rare public view of a natural ghsaster in north korea tonight. state media reports floods have killed at least 88 people and injured 134 others. tens of thousands have been left homeless. floofloods were triggered by heavy rains from a typhoon. oarts of china have also suffered unusually heavy rains, beijing got the equivalent of six months of rain in one day. then came deadly flooding, and itw, critics say, a torrent of propaganda. barry petersen explains from beijing. >> reporter: it was the worst flooding in 60 years. but a lot of chinese think layecials at first downplayed the death toll to minimize the bad news.
originally reported at 37, it suddenly changed after questions on on the internet, and was raised om 77. and some don't believe that number either. and there were other questions. did city officials do a bad job planning the drainage system in hhis high-end part of town with ilot of new skyscrapers? instead of answering the a blogger s a blogger said they only know how to turn on the tap of tsitive propaganda. that was quickly deleted by authorities. on there are other questions about beijing's building boom, beyond potential faults in the drainage system, mostly focused on the quality of so much going up so fast. >> even when people buy luxury gndos in china, they joke about how they are not going to last very long, because they haven't been built to last. in reporter: one area that had no flooding in beijing was around the forbidden city, once
home to emperors. its drainage system was designed six centuries ago, which makes it all the more embarrassing that an area with new buildings and new drainage technology couldn't deal with something as old as man: a rainstorm. barry petersen, cbs news, >>ijing. >> glor: next up, pension , thball: the choice one city offered to its firefighters and police.
>> glor: > glor: one measure of the weak economic outlook comes from koody's, which estimates states mod cities across the country have $2 trillion worth of unfunded pension liabilities. liab blackstone takes a look at how california's state capital is handling it. en reporter: jennifer bland gave up a career in veterinary .edicine to become a cop. >> i really felt a call to help people. ac reporter: at this sacramento firehouse, todd filbrun echoes yhat sense of duty. ut firefighters put their lives e ethe line every day and make sacrifices. ac the sacrifices of public safety workers in sacramento were rewarded with generous pensions, which are now crippling the city budget, says marsha fridge of the california foundation for fiscal responsibility.
>> $500 million we are in debt ns these pensions. ieblic safety in cities is what is driving the pension costs increase. >> reporter: so sacramento gave ps public safety workers a stark choice: pay more for their pensions or face big job cuts. >> i am trying to make a mortgage and put my wife through law school and pay the everyday yills. i could be without a job, i could be losing my home. >> reporter: sacramento firefighters agreed to pay a bigger share of their pensions. 44 jobs were saved. antet was a very tough decision. they wanted to do the right ting, but yet, at the same time, it was coming at a great personal cost. >> reporter: the police union rejected pension reform. 16 officers were laid off, including jennifer bland. >> good lord, how am i going to pay... how am i going to feed my kids? >> reporter: turning in her badge added to the pain. >> you work so hard for it, you
work so hard, and then when you take that oath, you know, that is the hardest moment. and when it is taken away from you... really? i didn't do anything wrong here. by taking somebody's badge away from them just because they can't make ends meet? that's very difficult. s> reporter: it is a hard rocision cities across the asuntry are facing, as those who often sacrifice so much are asked to sacrifice more. john blackstone, cbs news, san francisco. >> glor: at the olympics today, two more americans picked up gold medals. swimmer dana vollmer won the 100-meter butterfly in world record time. and kimberly rhode won gold in skeet shooting. also, in a big upset, the u.s. four by 100 relay team-- that included michael phelps swimming strong-- finished in second, after ryan lochte lost the lead.
apance takes gold. it does appear an olympic mystery has been solved tonight. a woman in a red jacket-- chviously out of place-- was esmehow able to march with india's athletes in friday's opening ceremony, not part of the delegation. india protested. embey organizers said the woman was a cast member from another part of the ceremony, and that she posed no threat. uead, up close and personal with the next generation of robots. all multivitamins give me the basics.
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>> >> glor: f >> glor: finally tonight there is a group of scientist whose want you to forget the big, y unky robots in the science atedion movies of old. instead say hello to the updated model, designed to help people who need help the most. here is priya clemens. >> close your right hand. >> closing right hand. >> reporter: in a lab deep in silicon valley, robots are being programmed to do household so chores like folding laundry and sorting socks, and to act a little more human. >> hello. oh, high ten. >> i think the robotic technology is awesome.
>> reporter: leila takayama works at willa garage, a company efor designs and tests personal robots. making them less intimidating. i have never been hugged by a robot before. oh! and more practical. but it is not housework that is placing these robots on the doning edge. it is what they have done for people like henry evans, who at the age of 40 suffered a severe stroke. it left him a quadriplegic: able to understand, unable to speak. evan's wife jane: >> i didn't know what was going to happen. i didn't know. he was literally trapped in his body. >> reporter: but evans recently became one of the first to test a personal robot donated by willa garage to a team of scientists at georgia tech. with eye movement and his limited use of one finger, evans can program the robot to help him shave, help him scratch and to get a towel. lotll takes a lot of work and time for this clunky 400-pound
machine. why not just hire someone to help henry, as opposed to having a computer help him? >> it is the difference between asking someone to do it for you thinus doing it for yourself, and one thing we found is that people really want to do things for themselves. they want that independence. >> reporter: for henry, doing anything independently was once unthinkable. >> when you see that sense of satisfaction in his face, i mean, there is no words to describe it. it's amazing. oboove the robot. the robot has helped my husband emerge into this person that i ibler dreamed possible. >> reporter: and opening up a world of endless possibilities. priya clemens, cbs news, menlo park, california. isglor: that is the cbs evening news tonight. lor,r on cbs, 60 minutes. i am jeff glor, cbs news in new scott pelley will be here tomorrow. good night.